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How to Become an Ultrasound Technician in Idaho

Ultrasound technology, also known as diagnostic medical sonography, is a field that offers many career opportunities and also a field that seems to be more in demand every year. To learn how to become an ultrasound technician in Idaho, continue reading.

Ultrasound Technician Requirements

Ultrasound technicians typically have either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in sonography. At this time, you do not have to complete a training program to work as an ultrasound technicians in Idaho. However, there have been recent attempts to change this and make training and certification mandatory. Training programs offer a blended curriculum of coursework, lab classes and clinical internships where the student can get experience in the various areas of sonography.

Is Any Prior Education or Training Required?

Individuals pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in sonography or diagnostic medical sonography are usually not required to complete any prior education other than prerequisite courses. Those who are enrolled in sonography certificate programs are usually required to have a degree in a related healthcare field.

Are Ultrasound Technicians Required to be Certified?

Idaho does not require their ultrasound technicians be certified; however, many choose to do it on their own to enhance their resume and boost their earning potential. The American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Idaho 2nd in the nation for predicted career growth for sonography, and being certified makes the technician even more appealing to a potential employer.

How Can an Ultrasound Technician Become Certified?

To become certified, you must pass a certification exam through either the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). The ARDMS requires you to pass two exams to earn certified and also offers certification in various areas of sonography.

To be eligible to take a certification exam, you must show proof that you’ve completed a training program for sonography and must be able to perform a designated number of procedures. ARRT also requires candidates pass their ethics requirements. Passing the certification earns the candidate either the certified or the registered credential.

Is Continuing Education Required?

Continuing education is a requirement to maintain certification. The ARDMS requires 30 hours of continuing education be completed, while CCI requires 36 hours and ARRT requires 24 hours. ARDMS certification is valid for ten years; CCI certification is valid for three years and ARRT is valid for two years. The CE must be completed before the end of the certification period. However, the 36 hours required for ARDMS must be completed during the final three years of the ten-year certification period.

Ultrasound Technicians Salary in Idaho

The salary for ultrasound technicians have a wide range of variance, depending on the location and the type of sonography the technician specializes in. The lowest salary in the state for this profession is $19,000, while the highest was around $58,000, according to a 2014 wage report by Indeed.com. Cardiac sonographers earned about $48,000 in some areas of Idaho. This amount is substantially lower than the nationwide average of $66,360 that was reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012.

What Job Duties Can an Ultrasound Technician Perform in Idaho?

Although ultrasound technicians take an active role in preparing the patient and the imaging equipment for sonography procedures, their main duty is performing the ultrasound procedures. The technicians answer any questions the patient may have regarding the procedure. Although ultrasound technicians can tell the difference between a normal and an abnormal reading, they don’t generally discuss the results of the test with the patient. After ensuring that all tests have been done correctly, the ultrasound technician prepares a summary for the physician. The ultrasound technician is also in charge of documenting the patient’s medical history.

How Long Does it Take to Become an Ultrasound Technician in Idaho?

Ultrasound technician programs are usually either 2- or 4-year programs, depending on if they’re associate or bachelor degree programs. Boise State University offers a 1-year certificate program for individuals who already have a degree in respiratory therapy, radiography or nursing. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation on Allied Health Programs.